Banjo Armrests

Armrests are handy little devices designed to make playing your banjo more comfortable, by preventing contact between arms and hands and banjo heads, which reduces sound projection.

It fits all 30 bracket aluminum pot banjos that feature flat brackets for tightening their heads, such as those from Deering Good Time and Goodtime Artisan.

Traditional Gibson type flat

The Gibson banjo has long been considered a staple of bluegrass music, and almost all professional players of bluegrass use one. Most prefer its traditional flat armrest; this style comes in various materials and colors including plastic, metal and walnut cherry mahogany wood finishes – the more popular choices being walnut cherry mahogany! Typically this flat armrest fits standard 11″ pot 24 bracket banjos while it may also work with other styles of banjos.

The banjo is a five-string instrument with its own distinct sound that comes from its combination of string tension and resonance chamber resonators. A good sounding banjo should possess deep, rich tones with crisp attacks. Furthermore, its tuning should be somewhat loose for optimal results.

One of Gibson’s early innovations was their coordination rods system. These brass rods connected the neck heel and peghead and allowed players to adjust string height above fretboard for more accurate playing position. Furthermore, Gibson also pioneered advances in tone ring design that produced modern arch-top style resonators still used today.

Notable improvements included an adjustable truss rod that helped prevent neck warping under string tension, while Gibson’s Thaddeus McHugh developed an improved tuning peg nut which kept the neck straighter for longer. Finally, Gibson developed a more durable and sturdier resonator by creating it from one piece of metal rather than using multiple pieces joined together into a multi-part flange design.

Another change was a new type of metal fretboard. This improved hygiene while lasting longer than its wooden predecessors; furthermore, it was lighter and less costly than ebony, giving the banjo an uncluttered and professional appearance.

A banjo’s serial number was an easily identifiable distinguishing characteristic that could be found anywhere from its rim, neck and headstock to its serial plate and resonator plate. Written usually in pencil or white paint (sometimes even red!), its serial number could often be found stamped or carved into wood of its neck heel or rim; additionally Gibson marked their instruments with an individual inlay pattern on their resonator plates.

Deering style

This sleek nickel plated armrest replaces the original Deering armrest on banjos with 24 head tightening brackets, making installation quick and effortless. Additionally, its elegant style complements banjos with 12 inch rims perfectly; StewMac offers one for purchase!

The Deering White Lotus 5-string Resonator Banjo features an American white oak rim designed with its trademarked patent for creating an exciting bluegrass sound without using heavy tone rings, while still producing clear note distinction, power, and sustain normally associated with metal tone rings. Its sound is bright and crisp while still producing exciting bluegrass sounds without losing power or sustain previously found only with metal tone rings.

Adjusting the action of your banjo neck can also help to enhance its sound. Action refers to the distance between the bottom of a string and top of a fret; for optimal performance it should be set at 1/8″, however you can customize this setting according to personal preference and make changes as desired. Too low an action could cause string buzzing and vibration against frets while too high could create discomfort that makes playing difficult.

Excess humidity can have an adverse effect on the neck of your banjo. It may result in an unsightly “back bow,” creating a bump up in the middle of its backbone; or it may simply flatten it, which is more common and less noticeable.

An unstable neck can wreak havoc with your banjo’s performance and sound quality, creating vibrational issues between its neck and pot that results in diminished sound quality, as well as wrist or finger abrasions from rubbing against strings and tailpiece. To alleviate these problems, lubricating pads may be used on its neck for increased friction reduction.

Readjusting the action of your banjo can also be done using its coordinator rods in its pot/rim. This is accomplished by loosening its two sets of nuts (one on either side – for Deering Good Time and Artisan banjos) with a small nail or Allen wrench and using this nail to rotate or tighten one or more coordinator rods to raise or lower its action height accordingly.

Vega style

Vega style banjo armrests are an increasingly popular choice among players and are extremely flexible. They will fit any old time banjo with 18 to 28 bracket hooks (also called tension hooks) on its open back, as well as accommodating various playing styles by offering height adjustments and keeping picking hands/arms off of the banjo head which helps increase tone by keeping contact between body parts minimal and the banjo’s head minimal.

These polished nickel plated brass bracket hooks connect between your banjo’s bracket hooks and tension hoop without needing special attachment hardware or any modifications for most 11″ rim banjos; they do not fit Deering Goodtime banjos (see GT102).

These brackets work great on most flanged or grooved heads with flat hooks, though certain areas may need bending/filing in the space between slots. When used on resonators flanges it’s essential that their hooks firmly sit against top of slots to be supported by them firmly by flange. A great addition to any banjo whether vintage models or modern production banjos.

Armadillo style

Pisgah Banjo Company in the USA handcrafts this Armadillo style banjo armrest from brass feet that allow it to float freely over any brand 11″ open back banjo’s head and tension hoop for improved ergonomics and playing comfort. Furthermore, this armrest is compatible with all bracket spacings and left or right handed players can enjoy using it!

Gold Tone’s wood banjo armrest is specifically tailored to accommodate any hook configuration – including that found on Bela Fleck’s signature banjo! Additionally, this model fits Deering Artisan and Goodtime banjos as well. Although different in appearance than our Little Mountain Banjomate Thinline armrest that we also carry, both work equally well and look good!

Edited by Robert B. Winans, Banjo Roots & Branches brings together cutting-edge scholarship on the instrument’s diverse African and Western roots, its development within American folk music traditions, its adaptation into African-American communities and beyond, its tuning practices and regional playing styles, its history as an African instrument and bluegrass development – this book should be an essential reading for those interested in the history of banjos!